Friday Eye Candy: Historic Visualization Tracks U.S. Growth from 1790 to 1890

The visualization has something for everyone: a colorful visualization of population trends for the data geeks, a vintage look and feel for the hipsters, and the competitive aspect of comparing cities to each other for everyone else.
Jim Pruitt / Shutterstock

Mark Byrnes shares news of the graphic, and how it came to the Internet, for CityLab: "Originally published in the Statistical Atlas of the United States in 1898, Larry Gormley of HistoryShots (a company that designs and restores data visualizations) first came across this old census visualization over at David Rumsey's online map database. Compelled by its restrained use of shapes, colors, and lines, Gormley, who scours map and book fairs in his native New England, eventually tracked down a printed copy to restore."

"[The visualization's] design manages to neatly display over 450 data points using only 10 colors to differentiate dozens of cities. Once the viewer adjusts their eyes to the right-to-left timeline, one can see just how much the U.S. had grown in its first full century."

Full Story: A Brilliantly Restored 19th Century Visualization of U.S. City Population Shifts


Brand new! Urban Grid City Collection

Each city has its own unique story. Commemorate where you came from or where you want to go.
Grids and Guide Red book cover

Grids & Guides

A notebook for visual thinkers. Available in red and black.
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
City Plate table setting

New Arrival! City Plates

City downtown cores printed on gorgeous decorative collectible porcelain plates.